The matcha tea ceremony is a Japanese tradition that originated in the 9th century in Japan and has been practiced for centuries, becoming quite a ceremonial and cultural art.
At that time, green tea was mainly consumed in powdered form and used as a medicinal remedy. The matcha tea ceremony was developed as a ritualized and meditative way of preparing and serving matcha tea and is based on the principles of tranquility, respect and mindfulness .
It went on to become an important part of Japanese culture and it was during the Edo period (1603-1868) that it reached its most refined form and became an important part of daily life for the Japanese elite. As a curious fact, I will tell you that it was used as a means of payment and was considered a form of wealth. Samurai and other members of the Japanese elite used to pay their debts and make valuable gifts with matcha tea .
Today, the matcha tea ceremony is still practiced in Japan and around the world and is a popular way to enjoy this delicious powdered drink and learn about Japanese tea culture and tradition.
What happens during the matcha tea ceremony?
During the ceremony, matcha tea is prepared and served following a ritual and a series of precise steps. The tea master, or host, is in charge of carrying out the ceremony and guiding the guests through the process.
I give you a summary of the basic steps of the matcha tea ceremony :
- Guests sit in a quiet, serene room, usually on a mat on the floor.
- The tea master makes an offering of water to an altar and then washes his hands and face in a stone basin.
- The master prepares the matcha tea in a special bowl called a chawan using a special stick called a chasen . Add hot water to the bowl and mix the powdered matcha tea until a smooth foam forms.
- Next, tea is offered to the guests in strict order of age and a cup is served to each person. The guests drink the tea in one gulp, then return the cup to the tea master.
- After everyone has drunk the tea, the master cleans the chawan and tea stick, and then offers sweets to the guests.
This ceremony is really an opportunity to enjoy matcha tea in a calm and meditative environment and to learn about Japanese tea culture and tradition.
Main benefits for your health
In addition to what we have just discussed, its celebration can also have benefits for your mental health and general well-being. We will tell you about the most outstanding ones:
- Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety : The matcha tea ceremony takes place in a calm and serene environment and can help promote relaxation and mindfulness. This can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall mental health.
- Improve concentration and attention – Requires participants to pay attention to every detail of the process of preparing and serving the tea, which can help improve concentration and attention.
- Fostering Social Connection – It is also an opportunity to enjoy the company of others in a calm and relaxed way. This can foster social connection and improve relationships with others.
- Provide a meditative activity – This can be considered a meditative activity that helps the mind relax and be present in the moment. This can have benefits for mental health and general well-being.
In case you were wondering, the matcha tea ceremony is still a popular tradition in Japan, celebrated both at home and in public places like schools and temples. It is also celebrated in other parts of the world, especially where there is a special interest in Japanese culture and tradition.
Fancy hosting your own ceremony? You summon your friends or family that we take care of the tea in Matchaflix 😉.